The Disciplinary Committee of the CSF is seized of any written complaint made against a representative by the syndic or by a third party for a breach of a provision of the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services, the Securities Act or one of their regulations. It has jurisdiction to rule on complaints against representatives in insurance of persons, group insurance of persons, financial planning, group savings plan brokerage and scholarship plan brokerage.
The disciplinary process typically proceeds as follows:
Following an investigation, the syndic files a written complaint with the disciplinary committee. A complaint may also be filed by any person (private complainant).
The secretariat of the committee shall notify the representative concerned of the complaint.
The representative shall appear in writing or by counsel, and shall declare or not declare guilt on the count or counts contained in the complaint.
Si le représentant enregistre un plaidoyer de culpabilité, le comité tient généralement une seule audition tant sur la culpabilité que sur la sanction.
If the representative enters a guilty plea, the committee generally holds a single hearing on both guilt and punishment.
At this hearing, the complainant (the trustee or the private complainant) has the burden of establishing, according to the applicable rules of evidence, the guilt of the representative.
At the conclusion of the hearing and its deliberations, the committee shall record its decision in writing and state its reasons.
If the representative is found guilty, a subsequent hearing is held to determine the appropriate sanction(s).
The Committee may impose one or more of the sanctions provided for in the Professional Code and the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services on each of the counts contained in the complaint. (click to learn more)
The committee may also order the representative to pay disbursements and order the publication of a notice of the decision in a newspaper circulating in the locality where the representative has his professional domicile or in any other place where he has practised or could practise his profession.
The committee cannot, however, compensate the consumers involved in the same way as the ordinary courts could in a suit for damages.
The committee's decision may also include a recommendation to the CSF Board of Directors to require the representative to successfully complete an internship or training course.
Finally, the decision rendered by the committee may be appealed to the Court of Quebec within 30 days of the date the parties receive the decision.
How are sanctions determined?
To ensure that sanctions are fair and appropriate, committee members take into account various objective and subjective factors, in particular: the seriousness of the offence, the harm done to consumers, the damage to the integrity and dignity of the profession, the advisor’s experience and disciplinary history, and the risk of re-offending.
When the Disciplinary Committee concludes that a professional has committed an offence, it must impose one of the following sanctions:
- A reprimand
- A temporary or permanent removal from the roll
- A fine ranging from $2,000 to $50,000 for each charge
- The obligation to remit a sum of money belonging to clients
The committee may also recommend training.
Purposes of the disciplinary sanction
The disciplinary sanction has four main purposes:
- Protect the public
- Correct the misconduct
- Set an example for other members of the profession
- Rehabilitate the professional
Disciplinary Committee decisions
All decisions rendered by the Disciplinary Committee since 2000 are available online.